It’s safe to say that 2020 has been a strange year – especially for the wedding industry and couples planning their special day.
In the space of three months, we went from holding celebrations that were as intimate or as grand as we wanted, to a complete ban on weddings. Three months later, we were told small wedding ceremonies could take place – but with no reception – and now, we have the go-ahead for wedding receptions for up to 30 guests.
With all the changes, we keep talking about the ‘new normal’ and what the future of weddings might look like. It is estimated that around 73,600 weddings and civil partnerships were postponed during the first three months of lockdown, with couples either choosing to postpone their date until later this year or many simply postponing until 2021.
For couples still planning a 2020 wedding, think about what you want from your day. Now more than ever before, the phrase ‘it’s your wedding, do it your way’ is truer than ever. Marriage is a celebration of love and commitment to each other – a more intimate celebration could allow you to have a more relaxed or informal day, and concentrate on the relationships around you.
If you want a bigger celebration but don’t want to postpone to 2021 (which is booking up fast), think about ways you can include all your guests safely. Maybe live stream the ceremony so guests who can’t be there physically can still watch you say your vows, or have a wedding hashtag and encourage your guests to use this when posting pictures on social media so people at home can watch as the day unfolds.
Readings and singing are not currently allowed during ceremonies because of the risk of transmission. If the same rules apply for a reception, it may be sensible for couples to ditch the traditional speeches. Instead of doing them live, think about asking the participants to record them beforehand. It’s less nervewracking for speakers on the day, and it means you can include messages from guests who can’t be there.
Alternatively, think about ‘making a weekend of it’, so to speak. You could hold a number of events over a few days – host the ceremony and immediate reception with a sit-down meal at your chosen venue, then maybe follow it with a barbeque at home for 30 people, a sit-down meal in a favourite restaurant, a picnic in the park...the opportunities are endless (so long as social distancing guidelines are being met).
If you’re planning your wedding for 2021, the main thing to think about is that 2021 is already very busy, so try to book your key suppliers as soon as possible. You will need to be more flexible, just as wedding suppliers have also tried to be during the process, offering virtual consultations, viewings and cake samples sent to couples in a tasting box.
The dress shopping experience may not be exactly what many young girls imagined; bridal boutiques all have a set of guidelines they need to adhere to, from wearing PPE and facemasks, sanitising dresses and changing rooms in between clients, to limiting the number of guests brides-to-be can take in with them.
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